Retouching An Old Favorite

Over the years, I have done a lot of things in the creative field. I have done photography, writing, digital imaging, and even painting (that was a short-lived adventure).

I really am happy that I have gotten to do and try so many things. The only issue is that when I move onto another medium, I tend to forget about the others for some time – minus photography. And one of those was my first love of digital imaging.

Thankfully, I have decided to get back into it, and I have started just throwing out whatever I can think of.

This was based on a project, kind of a combo, of some work I did way back in 2009. I really think it’s a good showing of how I have gained skills, but also still have the same feel.

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NEW BOOK – Out Now!

Hey, everyone!

You read that right, my new book is out NOW! Only a year after my first publication. This was something that I knew immediately I wanted to write, and I am really happy with how it came out.

Available now on Amazon.

It’s a great tale about a young kid from a small hometown, who wants nothing more than to make something of himself, and do something no one ever thought was possible.

Thank you for all of your support, let me know what you think!

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Used Deck of Cards

One thing I think that every home should have, a good deck of cards and a poker set. It really is something that can be busted out any time there are some good friends over. Just a way to break the tension of life and to relax a little bit.

This is my deck, and it has seen a lot of play, a lot of memories, and a lot of laughs.

Gotta love it.

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Totally NOT Photoshopped…

I was just thinking today about how I needed to get more into composite images.

For a while, I was one of the “purists” and thought it was kind of a cop-out to make clearly fake images like the one above.

Then I realized I didn’t care, and they’re fun to make! So I am going to keep doing them whenever I come with an idea. Which happens from time to time.

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Confused Little Flower

We all get confused from time to time – apparently flowers have those days too.

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Some Lego Fun

This is what happens when I build some Legos while my camera is sitting out. Maybe I have a second career as a product photographer.

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Black Rain

Funny how things always repeat themselves.

Way back when I first got into photography, I took a photo similar to this, except on my blue car. It was one of my favorite shots, and still is to this day.

Today, however, I noticed that I had another opportunity to take a very similar photo, and almost recreate what I did back then – except with better editing skills.

It kind of reminds me of when I first started, how novice I was, and how new everything was. I had almost no photos at the time.

Those were some good times.

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I Miss 2004

The tile was always cold, the basement always quiet – excluding the occasional chirp from a message from one of my friends, or the typing on the analog keyboard that broke the silence of the midnight air. I still remember the loud clicks that computer made when it booted on, and the crackling of the heated plastic after it had been on too long. The monitor, compared to today, was massive – almost as big as a TV. But I remember the day we got it, being in awe of all that it could do, and all the potential that it had. It was so strange however, all the power it had, and all I ever did was talk to my friends on message boards. My friends having stupid screen names, with mine being equally as ridiculous.

One, two, three in the morning – I would sit on the family desktop computer, somewhere in the early ots of the 2000s. A time that would some come to be a decade that I would fondly look back as one of the greatest to grow up in. Surfing random websites that I would think of, talking to friends about the intricacies of public-school life. The drama, the fun, the heartbreak – all of it in a seemingly “Wild-West” type of feeling. Everything was new, everything was a breakthrough, and none of us knew what was to come.

This whole chain of thinking about this time all leads back to me finding an old CD collection, one that I had nearly forgotten about. CDs that contained music and random things from the early 2000s that I had nearly forgotten about. Because, as it was back then, there was no “cloud,” there was no online data storage. The only things you were able to keep from the internet was what you could throw onto a zip drive, or cram on a CD-R. It was truly like you could have a totally different life experience as soon as that computer screen turned on, and when it turned off.

It was a binder of CDs, with my scribbled writing all over the front of it. A downloaded album of this, some software for this program on that CD. It was just so hap-hazardly thrown together, it was hard to tell what I was actually holding in my hands, it could quite literally have been anything. And it brought me right back to those years, when everything was so new, there was so much change going on. It was a perfect balance of being able to catch up with people in an instant, and being able to truly log off – trying to find scraps of information online for hours, only to realize you were better off looking it up in an encyclopedia.

I think one thing I really miss from that era was the adventure. Everything seemed to be some journey you had to take – like learning how to use a new cell phone to seeing if you could beat some random flash game before someone in your house picked up the telephone and knocked you offline. Everything was so exciting. I miss that feeling of true exploration.

But what I really miss is how humble the beginnings were. No one really knew anything at all – though we all liked to pretend we did. Even now it’s sometimes fun to go back and look at my old screensavers – something that today are a non-issue. I remember sitting in the basement, going through the collection of default screens you could use. Even revert back to the 1995 version. It was so basic, so simple, so new.

Like the internet, I grew up with it – I grew as it did. It started off small and basic, eventually evolving into something so much bigger. I now realized we had the same childhood, and we now have the same adulthood – constantly learning and constantly changing.

But I do miss those old days. Things were easier back then. Simpler. And they really were the best of times.

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We All Need A Break

I don’t like Winter – I really, really don’t like Winter. But I will admit that there are some nice things about it. I guess you can’t have cons if you don’t have some pros.

One thing I do love about Winter is the quiet nature of it all. The calm. It almost feels as if there is no one else in the world besides yourself. The relaxing night sky where the clouds seem to be just feet from your head, floating by in the silent night. In fact, I enjoy it so much, sometimes I like to linger outside just a little bit longer and stare out into the moonlight – enamored by how bright it can be even on the coldest of nights, listening to the nothing going on around me except for maybe the crunch of the snow below my feet.

It really is inspirational, calming, and for some reason, for me, a source of creativity. Which I have been thinking about lately on these brisk evenings. How much I enjoy doing what I do, and who I am.

I have always liked being someone who is creative, who can almost see things that others can’t – like my very own superpower. Maybe a good opportunity for a photo, a simple design I think would be unique, or even some short story that I think of in a certain situation. It’s an escape, and it’s an ability to live in a world I can make myself. Like daydreaming, but bringing it to reality. And only recently did I realize how much I needed this.

Though I don’t think I am alone, I think everyone could do this, and I think they should. Deep down, I feel that everyone wants to have their outlet, their own world where they rule everything, things are perfect, and nothing goes wrong. Everyone dreams of having the chance to turn everything off and losing themselves.

It doesn’t matter what you do, who you are. You can be working as a painter in your own studio in NYC…or maybe Ohaha. Maybe you are a doctor in New Mexico. Or maybe you’re a stock trader on Wall Street. I think any of these people can, and should be as creative as they can, in their own way. To let things out, show off something beautiful, and add a little color to the world. I truly feel this world was designed to be more than just business as usual. It was meant to be weird, wonderful, and full of interesting things.

To be clear, do I think everyone should go home when they are done with their shift and paint a sunset? No, I don’t – because not everyone’s outlet is the same.

For some, it’s gardening, for others, it’s building models. It can be anything and everything that makes you drift away from the day and relax your mind – because that is what is important. We exist now in a world that is so stressed about numbers, day to day operations, that we forget that that is only one side of the coin. Yes, I understand these things are important, but if we don’t take time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the life we have built for ourselves, then what is it for?

Life is hard, REALLY hard. So why make things even worse for each other, right? Not all of us have the ability – or the time – to take a moment to ourselves and recharge…but we should. We need to help each other out to get to that point – and we all need to start making sure everyone can have these outlets.

Once in a while, I will think about how long I have been doing what I have been doing – creating things. Over the years there have been ebbs and flows of output. Ups and downs of production. But I realized something, that’s that whenever I came back to it, whenever I set time aside to do something to relax my head – things always seemed to be, just, better. Maybe not financially, as most art is underappreciated (a whole other story), and maybe not situationally. However, I have been better mentally, which almost seems to be the biggest battle in the war.

I fully understand that not everyone can do this – time restraints, money, or a million other factors. But I wish we could. I think it’s important, and I am so thankful I am able to occasionally do it myself.

So please, if you can, think about this. Think about what colorful thing you can bring to this world – even if it is just for you. And if you can, help someone else find their outlet too. The world needs it.

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From Concept to Design

From concept to design – sometimes all it takes is a little idea.

I actually, randomly, thought about making this at around 3am.

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